A recently survey of 1,500 college students commissioned by the Brookings Institute provides serious concern over the generation currently walking the halls of Wesleyan. Among some of the disheartening results we find that most colleges students are unaware that the Constitution protects hate speech. Half of students think that shouting down speakers who advocate for a position they oppose is acceptable. 20% of them even believe using violence to silence opponents is fair game. Perhaps it was insights like these and actions on the campuses of USC, Berkeley and Middlebury that motivated President Roth to pen his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed last May (conveniently timed for release after the Argus had been put to bed for the academic year and campus response could be muted) in which he mused on the lack of tolerance for intellectual diversity in liberal academia. Mr. Roth’s antidote to this dilemma, offering elective courses in the principles of capitalism or working to reduce the liberal-conservative faculty ratio from 28-1 to 27-1, serves only to afford progressives some ability to tacitly acknowledge the imbalance without the need to implement meaningful reform. Sadly, what Wesleyan is experiencing in the diminishing of intellectual diversity is increasingly the norm at liberal academic institutions. Were Mr. Roth serious about a desire to ensure that positions in contrast to the progressive group think of the undergraduate student body be presented in clearly visible venues, might I suggest he consider the key note address at Wesleyan’s annual Commencement? A cursory review of the speakers at the last 13 commencements reveals an expected political bias: 3 were politicians (all Democrats), 1 was a doctor devoted to helping underprivileged children in Haiti and had no recorded political leanings, another was a progressive academic from South Africa and the remaining 8 speakers had all publicly endorsed either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in each of the last 3 Presidential elections. If Mr. Roth is truly committed to supporting intellectual diversity, then I challenge him to put in front of graduating students a credible and recognized conservative thought leader or even a distinguished military figure and endure the ensuing outrage from the undergraduate snowflakes. As an alumnus who suffered through 4 years of progressively-biased efforts at indoctrination, I would be greatly amused by the thought of the graduates experiencing a dose of reality before being cast out into a world of ideas they are woefully unprepared to process.

  • 人生短暂,开心每一天!

  • GD Klein

    Mr Bond,

    Your connection to Wesleyan is unclear. If an alumnus, there is a simple solution. Don’t contribute to alumni fund drives. If a student, don’t contribute to alumni fund drives before and after graduation. That would put your views where your pen and mouth are.

    George Devries Klein, ’54

  • Peter V.S. Bond

    Mr. Klein, I am the ’88 Class Secretary. I see it as a responsibility to be a voice operating from inside rather than abandoning my alma mater to the fate of progressive group think and snowflake safe zones.

  • GD Klein

    Mr. Bond,I’m glad you have the time to be involved in the Wesleyan Community. Because of distance (I’m retired in Guam) and health issues, I can only, on occasion comment herein. It’s good that you are trying to fight the rot of “my alma mater to the fate of progressive group think and snowflake safe zones.” It’s sorely needed and is the result of deteriorating social standards on campus plus a complacent Board of Trustees. If I had your email, I would write more. I’ll check to see if you are on Facebook to follow up.

    George Devries Klein, ’54

  • GD Klein

    Mr. Bond, After posting my reply to your comment on the “Wesleyan Argus” I decided I should share an additional thought. During a 33 year period, I was a professor of geology in three very different research universities, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Univ. of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign where I am Professor Emeritus. Although I “early retired” in 1993 to pursue other interests, the seeds of the changes seen now on campuses were slowly evolving but quite evident. American Higher Education has now evolved nationally into something akin to a fragmented version of the French Higher Education System.

    In France, the top institution is ‘L’ecole Poytechnique’ – a science-engineering – business university. Its graduates finish in a timely manner, work hard, move up in the system, and end up running the country in all its sectors. In contrast is “La Universite’ where students sit on the nearest river bank, read poetry or Sartre while drinking wine, and take ten years to earn a degree. Their usefulness to French society is limited.

    In the USA today, land grant universities (Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska) are divided like the French system with strong schools of engineering, science, medicine, and business functioning like the L’ecole Polytechnique.’. Their internal Colleges of Liberal Arts function like “La Universitie” with the same results. The large private research universities in the US such as Harvard, Rice and Penn are the same way.

    Where does this leave the small “liberal Arts colleges” such as Wesleyan and its cohorts in the Little Three? Having never taught in one, I don’t have the answer but I am left with the impression, perhaps mistaken, they will be moved more and more to the sidelines of American Higher Ed and won’t amount to the accolades they used to enjoy (like when you and I were students at Wesleyan). Their passive boards of trustees and misguided administrations cannot help them.

    George Devries Klein,’54
    Professor Emeritus, Geology. University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign